Tag: Criminal Justice

The Still Incomplete Case Against Harvey Weinstein

While more than 90 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, the Manhattan trial that concluded on Monday concerned his conduct with three women: Miriam Haley, Jessica Mann, and Annabella Sciorra. Even as media narratives of the trial painted it as answering a simple, stark question about the producer’s guilt or innocence, the actual […]

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Why We Need to Reform New York’s Criminal Justice Reforms

As district attorneys in New York State, we support efforts to make our criminal justice system fairer. Fairness and public safety are not in conflict. When people trust the criminal justice system to treat everyone equitably, we are all safer. We support the New York State Legislature’s efforts to address the inequities of bail and […]

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In One State, a Holdout Juror Can’t Block a Conviction. That May Not Last.

PENDLETON, Ore. — For three days, the jury was deadlocked. Nine jurors wanted to convict James Worley, a church pastor accused of sexually abusing a young relative. Three others said they could not find him guilty. “It was awful being in that room,” Carlos Cardoso, who was among the jurors who did not want to […]

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Even 14-Year-Olds Who Kill Are Not Adults

Tessa Majors, an 18-year-old Barnard College freshman with green hair, loved music, especially punk rock, and singing with her band. On Dec. 11, while she was walking in Morningside Park in Manhattan, she was stabbed to death, apparently during a robbery. The three teenagers charged in Ms. Majors’s killing are just 13 and 14 years […]

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Trump Renews Attack on Justice System, Raising Pressure on William Barr

WASHINGTON — President Trump once again berated the “dirty cops” of the law enforcement establishment on Thursday, accusing the Justice Department of going after his friends but not his enemies in a public outburst that flouted Attorney General William P. Barr’s pleas to stop publicly intervening in individual prosecutions where he had a personal interest. […]

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You Get a Pardon! And You Get a Pardon! Career Criminal Donald Trump Passes Out Get Out of Jail Free Cards to Disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Others

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich leaves the Dirksen Federal Building following a hearing on April 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images) There are some words and phrases in the English language that are open to interpretation, while others—like “criminal”—are pretty cut-and-dried. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is a fucking criminal. While most […]

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Let Bernie Madoff, and Many More, Out of Prison

Eleven years ago, in the wake of the financial crisis, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was revealed, leading to a crushing loss of $17 billion to investors. Philanthropies shuttered; people’s lifetime savings and college funds were wiped out; and two investors, and one of Mr. Madoff’s sons, committed suicide. Recently, Mr. Madoff re-entered the news, as […]

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Close to 66,000 Marijuana Convictions to Be Dismissed in Los Angeles

As we’ve seen over the past few months, one of the benefits of marijuana legalization has been states allowing those previously convicted to have their charges dismissed. Los Angeles County has become the next city to do just that. According to CNN, approximately 66,000 marijuana convictions will be dismissed as a result of the recent […]

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The Bail Reform Backlash That Has Democrats at War

ALBANY, N.Y. — A serial bank robber who struck again four hours after he was released from custody. A wall of white faces in police uniforms, filling the State Capitol steps in protest. A protected witness bludgeoned to death. These are some of the images and incidents that have been used in what has become […]

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Why Matteo Salvini Wouldn’t Mind Being Prosecuted

ROME — Matteo Salvini can hardly believe his good fortune. He’s facing prosecution. In another country, that might spell trouble for a politician like Mr. Salvini, Italy’s nationalist leader. But Mr. Salvini is being pursued for turning away rescued migrants when he was interior minister, by southern prosecutors who have called it an abuse of […]

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Police Chief Made Fiery Claim Over MS-13 Murder. Records Dispute It.

Four days after a confidential witness in a case against the MS-13 gang was murdered on Long Island, the local police commissioner identified what he said was one of the causes of the brutal crime: the state’s new criminal justice policies. The commissioner, Patrick Ryder of Nassau County, said that because of a new law, […]

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The Hollow Promise of “Bipartisan” Criminal Justice Reform

Alice Marie Johnson is free and starring in her first Super Bowl ad. Already, the campaign for her release had made international headlines: a black woman in her sixties, a casualty of America’s drug war who was imprisoned in 1996 for participating in a cocaine distribution operation, a grandmother essentially sentenced to die in jail. […]

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The False Hope of “Bipartisan” Criminal Justice Reform

Alice Marie Johnson is free and starring in her first Super Bowl ad. Already, the campaign for her release had made international headlines: a black woman in her sixties, a casualty of America’s drug war who was imprisoned in 1996 for participating in a cocaine distribution operation, a grandmother essentially sentenced to die in jail. […]

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A Cancer Patient Stole Groceries Worth $109.63. She Was Sentenced to 10 Months.

As lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, John Fetterman is a very busy man. But he was prepared to drop everything on Friday and drive to a Weis Markets in Lebanon, Pa., to hand deliver a personal check for $109.63, the exact sum of groceries that a woman with advanced cancer was recently convicted of stealing. Last […]

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The New Majority Behind Sex Work Decriminalization

When people have a real chance to say what kind of world they want, they tend to tell similar stories: safety for themselves and their families, dignified work, health care. Viewed this way, there is something almost intuitive about many left ideas. Which means the real trouble with building support for them isn’t so much […]

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Barr, Targeting Anti-Semitic Crimes, Enters Bail Reform Fray

In the month since New York enacted a sweeping series of changes to its bail laws that have set thousands of defendants free pending their trials, many law enforcement officials have urged lawmakers to reconsider the law. The roster of prominent critics includes Dermot Shea, the New York City police commissioner, as well as Richard […]

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Improve Bail Laws for Public Safety

Last April, the New York State Legislature passed an ill-considered set of criminal justice reforms that were buried in the state budget bill. As those reforms have taken effect, it has become clear that they present a significant challenge to public safety. The New York Police Department favors criminal justice reforms and bail reform, but […]

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He Was Charged With 4 Bank Heists, and Freed. Then He Struck Again, Police Say.

A man walked into a Chase Bank in Brooklyn wearing a Chicago Bulls baseball cap just as the 9-to-5 crowd was leaving work on a recent Friday. He passed a note written in red ink to a teller. “This is a robbery,” it read. “Big bills only no dye packs.” He left the bank that […]

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Tyler Perry Extends Job Offer To Former Inmate Unjustly Impacted By Drug Laws

The journey of former inmate Darrell Hall exemplifies the disproportionate impact the War on Drugs has had on communities of color. After serving nearly 20 years behind bars for the possession of a small amount of cocaine, Hall was recently given a unique opportunity by entertainment mogul Tyler Perry that will allow him to reinvent […]

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Cash Bail Was Never About Safety

The slow work of criminal justice reform is often piecemeal, a matter of politicizing the system’s routine practices and developing a moral language to undo them. Bail has become one of those issues, with advocates exposing the predatory bail bonds business, creating community-based bail funds, and lobbying for an end to cash bail. The message […]

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Human Trafficking Courts Are Not a Criminal Justice “Innovation”

New York state’s court system considers its Human Trafficking Intervention Courts—special courts sold as an alternative to jail for women facing prostitution charges—to be a national model for such programs. From Queens to Columbus, these courts share a common presumption: that women engaged in sex work are, in the words of the judges on the bench, “victims, not criminals.” […]

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